May 2022


as they are with the grandma monikers. The best grandfather name I discovered was “Doo-dad,” but I couldn’t convince anybody to adopt it. It’s catchy, though, don’t you think? Grandma and grandpa names that go together are always an option. “MeeMaw” and “PeePaw” make up a popular pair, as do “Grammy” and “Grampy.” A friend reported on a couple who are known to their grandchildren as “Lolly” and “Pop,” which you must admit is pretty cute. Sadly, however, Lolly and Pop recently divorced, which really ruins the whole thing. Then again, you never know if you can believe those “friend of a friend” stories. A list of playful grandmother names includes such entries as “Peaches,” “Bambi,” “Bubbles” and “PomPom.” Is it just me, or do those sound more like exotic dancers than grandmothers? Some ideas are far out there, like “Momette” and “NotherMother.” A few are rather insulting, like “Ninny” or “Big Mama.” Others are simply, in my opinion, unattractive. I don’t want to be called “Geezer Girl.” In the grandmother-names-gone-sideways category, my friend Lisa carefully planned to be “Mama Lisa.” When her first grandchild tried to say it, however, it came out “Meese.” It stuck. Doubling the first letter of your given name, aka “DeeDee” for Debbie or “LeeLee” for Linda, is fun unless your name is Patsy. Lucy was going to be “LuLu,” but that late-developing “L” sound created a roadblock. The earlier accomplished “YuYu” stuck, despite the grandchild’s eventually perfect diction. A joke I heard when I was in kindergarten comes to mind. Johnny opens the front door to a caller looking for his mother. “She ain’t home,” Johnny says. “Johnny!” scolds the caller. “Where’s your grammar?” Johnny’s reply? “She’s in the kitchen baking cookies.” Though I spend little time baking cookies, or even in the kitchen, “Grammar” would be a good name for a grammar nut like me. Such a lot of fuss over grandmother names. It wasn’t until William, our first grand, was a couple of months old that I settled on what I wanted mine to be. When William cried hard, as newborns do, he would get a little catch in his throat that made a hard “G” sound. I dubbed myself “GiGi” so I would be the first of his many grandparents whose name he could say. My ploy worked, and I’m still happily called GiGi by everyone in the family, including my husband. Speaking of my husband, his original plan was to take a page out of his mother’s book and just be Don. That worked for a while until one day he addressed one of the grands as “Dude.” The two-year- old addressed him back in the same way, and he forever became “Dude.” It suits him, in an ironic sort of way. All this ruckus over grandparent names shouldn’t come as any surprise. It is, after all, a bunch of baby boomers who are becoming grandparents these days. In typical boomer fashion, we’ve made it all about us. It’s what we do. Despite all the commotion, it looks like most still consider old school the way to go. A recent survey of 3,000 new parents revealed the most popular grandparent names by far to be “Grandma” and “Grandpa;” they’re instant grandparent names with no imagination required. Hip, playful and creative are great, but sometimes tried and true constitute the best solution. Give a grandchild a hug from me. And maybe a popsicle.


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